Friday, 25 December 2009

Happy Hollydays!

This is it, the big day, and I’m spending it in a small way, walking out into the quiet winter neighbourhood as we’ve been doing in the last few days, touching base. Bringing back kindling from the woods and greenery to deck the house. Edward Abbey, author and radical spokesman for the wilderness, once advised all earth activists to take time to go up into the mountains and remember why you were putting yourself on the line, why you were taking life into your own hands.

Locally-cut branches on the year’s first hoar frost – mistletoe, holly, alongside a branch of pine from the woods.

Hope all your socks were full this morning! This picture was taken by Helen (Simpson Slapp) of some socks she hand-knitted after she first joined Transition. Helen was the first person I spoke to at TN’s Unleashing and we had an animated conversation about what to do about not buying this year’s trousers and knitting dishcloths. It was the first time I had felt at ease with people in a long, long time. Later she invited me to two clothes swaps at her house, and heroically darned my wellington socks made from local Jacob sheep’s wool. Stuff is one of the things we’re all talking about giving up in our low-carbon world, but sometimes stuff can bring people together in a way woolly (sic) abstract conversations can never do.

Next year I’m going to have more earth in my world, as well as people. It’s one of my 2010 resolutions. To get myself in the mood I shinned up a birch tree on one of the local commons near where we live. Shortly afterwards I found an injured lapwing on the road and Mark and I slithered and skidded cross county to the Minsmere bird reserve to find someone who could give us a hand.

If you don’t know lapwings, have a look out next time you go past some agricultural fields in wintertime, especially near the coast. They are striking birds, piebald, flecked with green. They have a distinctive topknot on their heads and rounded wings and once stood for the earth's pied poetry because they are famous for leading predators away from their nest by feigning a broken wing.

To hold one of the wild things close is a rare encounter. She was quiet and alert in my hands for our perilous journey down the icy backroads. Sometimes to find the treasure of this life, we have to struggle very hard to make sense of it, the way you tussle with poetry to crack its code. The struggle is what reveals the mystery and beauty that lies deep at its heart. That’s something our ancestors knew and we have forgotten in our desire for comfort and convenience. And then sometimes, just outside an ancient tumulus on the turn of a year, you find yourself with a key. You remember what really matters, why you’re darning socks and learning to bake bread and engaging in this Transition – to keep life on earth going, an earth with woods and heath and rivers in it, and birds that gather in the sky.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Taking Life into our Own Hands

“Blimey, the blog is gloomy at the moment,” said Jane. She was tempted to put in something jolly, especially after hearing that the Northern Distributor Road, which she and the TN Transport group had rallied to avert, had just been given the go-ahead by the Department of Transport.

“It’s a solstice thing,” I said.

Outside there is a layer of snow on the ground and a bitter North wind is howling past the house. Inside it’s 7 degrees and I’m looking at the week that is coming to an end in the waning light of Copenhagen. At the second round of blogs in fact and seeing how they have shifted in tone, starting with Jon Curran’s post about his experience in the A&E when he began to ask questions about the effect of peak oil on the heath service.

One of the most successful meetings I went to in Transition was about Wellbeing, mostly because among the ten people present five of them were working or had worked for the NHS, one was a chemist and two of us knew about medicine plants. Each of us had brought an object to introduce our medicine stories: Mark brought a horse-chestnut tincture, Richard brought a quote from The Glass Bead Game and a small volume on homeopathy. Alex brought a daisy. He had been at a seminar in the Schumacher Institute when the deep ecologist Arne Naess, then in his eighties, had surprised everyone as he leapt through the window with a daisy in his hands. It was the medicine of vigour, Alex said.

What made this meeting vigorous and deep was the reality each of us brought into the room. Suddenly our discussions which up to then had been abstract, workshop-type encounters, full of spiritual possibility and solace, held our gritty experience of the world. When some of us exchanged opinions about our modern medical system, Angie, who had been a nurse on intensive care for 19 years, said simply:

“I hope when I need to be turned some of you will be there to turn me.”

And there was a silence in the room. As we realised what it would mean for us to take our own health, our lives, into our own hands.

When Jane wrote about gloom she quoted Winston Churchill. When he was asked what the secret of his success was, the old war leader replied: Seven words. Never give up. Never ever give up.

There is a lot of current talk about Blitz spirit, Dunkirk spirit and digging for Victory, as if the kind of rallying we need to tackle climate change and reverse our fortunes is the pulling together and keeping cheerful in the face of adversity, as Britian did during WW2. But the only way you can do this is by realising there is adversity. To have blitz spirit you have to recognise there is a Blitz. To never ever give up means you have to know the consequences of giving up. This is sharply obvious in the middle of a world war. In England where the consequences of climate change, including resource wars, are elsewhere, the reality of our situation is more difficult to see. It is easy living in England to avoid looking at the truth. Constantly bombarded by the “weapons of mass distraction” launched upon the populace by the media and the commerical world, it is hard to see that we are even in trouble.

I first joined Transition because I saw a film called What a Way to Go, Life at the End of Empire. It was being shown the Fisher Theatre in Bungay and there were, as is common in Transition awareness-raising, only about 30 people in the audience. We’d hesitated to go to what we thought was an environmental film because we didn’t want to be downloaded on. We certainly didn’t want to stay for the discussion afterwards. The film was relentless: a one man’s quest to find the truth beneath the Great American Dream, to document everything that occurs to our environment as a consequence of our life-style and everything that conspires to prevent our seeing it. For the first 20 minutes we wanted to run out of the room. At the end of the film I whispered to Mark, Shall we go? But something extraordinary had happened. We couldn’t go. We couldn’t wait to join in with the discussion. The theatre was buzzing with excitment. Everything all of us had been feeling or having nightmares about was out in the open. I hadn’t felt so invigorated for years.

“Whose the captain of this lifeboat?” I asked Kate who was faciliating. “Is it you?” She laughed, as in that moment the great ship Transition welcomed us on board.

What is really gloomy is waiting for other people, governments of the world, to take charge. What is really gloomy is denial. The insistence that everything is fine, that you can create your own reality and that business is as usual. Now in the second phase of our blog, we’ve been looking at what is going on underneath Transition, straight up. We’ve been going on climate actions, reporting on meetings, talking about our inner “dark side” experiences. Ed wrote about a difficult encounter in London, I brought some of our Dreaming of Norwich work into play. And in doing so we’ve been going beyond the Handbook and its Heart advice about personal oil addiction. Because our difficulties, as Tully pointed out in a searing and rigourous look at his own, are not simply personal. Depression, which has taken a monumental leap in the last few years, is directly linked to what is happening on our planet and our seeming inability to halt the spiralling destruction of eco-systems. Transition, which offers a good model for grassroots action, for a shared structure, is one of the ways to reverse this process. To begin the great work of transformation and regeneration. But we can’t just do this on optimisim. Or indeed on our own.

At the end of the film the author takes a long walk into the rain towards the Great Lake. After two hours detailing the massive effects of peak oil and climate change on the planet, he is listing the small actions we can take, including community participation and medicine herbs. Find your people he says, as he waits by the shore, and looks towards the Northern horizon. Build your lifeboat.

When you look at reality straight up the way ahead becomes clear: we have to meet these challenges the way warriors do, with impeccability, the way poets and artists do, with beauty, and most of all we have to meet them the way small tribes of human beings have successfully done for aeons, together.






We are the people we’ve been waiting for

BUTTERFLY AND FLOWERS ENDNOTE: We had a tech hitch on Monday uploading Helen's video, which is why I'm writing on what appears to be Helen's post! Here it is again with Helen's notes, in case you missed it the first time (incidently both Helens -Wells and Simpson Slapp - who provided the lovely pix for this week's blog, both work and have worked also for the NHS - in mental health.)

"The film shows a mutually beneficial relationship: buddleia the survivor, persistent, growing in the most extreme of places, along railway lines, in scrubby corners as well as in gardens and the butterfly, ephemeral, delicate, transient, transforming. The butterfly feeds on the nectar of the buddleia, the lightest of touches, and in its delicate flight from one slurpy waving pennant to another it polinates, part of the buddleia's life cycle, essential, propagating life with a light touch.


Its symbolic for me of what are mutually sustaining relationships and how nature teaches us. Its the kind of sustaining relationships we will need to develop in transition."


video

Butterfly and Buddleia- a mutually beneficial relationship by Helen Wells.

Daisy Chain from detail from Midsummer Party Flowers by Mark Watson.

Text: Charlotte Du Cann


Thursday, 17 December 2009

Dealing with It

Winter Solstice Tree on Mousehold Heath by Helen Simpson Slapp (NR3/Reskilling)


Men are from Earth. Women are from Earth.
Deal with it. (popular car sticker c.2007)

Yesterday I found a poem I hadn’t read in a long time. It’s called It Allows A Portrait in Line-Scan at Fifteen by the Australian poet Les Murray. I heard it when I was working for the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival back in 2005 just as Transition was starting up. Sinead Morrissey, a young brilliant poet from Belfast was performing what is known as close work - delving into the depths of the poem and coming up with gems.

You can read the poem in full here.

http://www.clivejames.com/poetry/murray/fifteen

I don’t think I would have noticed the poem so much otherwise. In that 15 minutes intense attention to its workings, Sinead handed us a key that opened the door of the poem. You see, the Portrait is of the poet's son who is now fifteen years old. “It” is the condition of autism that holds him captive – only allowing under certain circumstances the feeling relationship with other human beings that most of us take for granted.

When you read the poem, you realise it’s not just his son that Murray's talking about. He’s talking about an autistic world. The people who aren't listening in Copenhagen. The troubles we've been encountering on the dark side of Transition.

As we head towards the darkest and coldest part of the year, as the door of Solstice opens to let in the new light I considered what this It does to all our communications:

It talks in meetings with a voice like a cyborg. A dead pan voice that goes on and on and wears us all down.
It is made of mind. Data, facts, machines, correct spelling, precise rules and timings, rituals, mantra, constructs of all kinds.
It has an agenda it’s sticking to. A secret one it does not divulge. That makes our meetings go round and round, get lost in details, come to no conclusion. Most of all It wants its own way. This is because it has to have control of situations at all times. Everything outside of It is a threat to Its total power.
It has said things to me like: You have to accept the fact you are second-rate and You are just a.n.other. We don’t want to know what you think. I have learned to not go under when It is talking.
It talks of love, but, being heartless, exudes only a kind of passive coldness into the space between us. Even when the heart is angry or bitter it is warm. I have learned in these years to recognise the difference between words and action by their temperature. You could say the rising temperature of our home planet is a response to the coldness of Its empire, the way a fever burns up an infection in the body.
It outwits psychology and sometimes is psychology. Has been the bane of many a wise man, even caused the wily magus Gurdjieff who articulated its every mechanical move to close the curtains in his flat in Paris and start cooking for his friends.
In Diss when we all gathered there was a pink post-it note in the centre of our wall: it read unconscious sabotage.
It is a big problem in the world. Inside our own heads where it lives. Inside the meetings where we are trying to co-operate and find out a different way of doing things. Dreaming a different dream.
It doesn’t dream. It likes to feel good and keep in control. Dreaming means out-of-control which equals BAD. When it feels bad it starts to throw a fit, throw its feelings outwards onto other people in the room. We’ve been intimidated by Its moods and tantrums, its bone-chilling voice for aeons, so we keep quiet. It speaks with the power of gods and governments. Institutions and corporations are made of It.
It does well in school, where a lack of empathy with the object of study is essential.
What It hates most of all are poets. Poets see It coming and use their art to expose all its invisible workings. It has a pathological fear of being seen. Of being questioned by the heart. If It has a chance (which it has many times in history) It sends these all-seeing, all-feeling poets off to the gulag, to the trenches, to the Tower. Mostly it wears them out.
Fairy stories warn us about It many times. They are tales of how to outwit the saboteur and his wife, the cruel stepmother, what to do when the mirror enters our eyes and freezes our hearts, when we become trapped in reason, walled up in ourselves, held in a glass coffin, asleep.

It says fairy stories are for children.

We like to think we are beyond our childish games of it too. But It touches everyone. It comes through the young and pretty and clever and the wild man in the torn overcoat who is shouting too loudly in the room. In Transition when It gets the upper hand, people start leaving meetings. Groups dissolve. Good ideas get shelved. Initiatives run out of steam. Dealing with It in Transition means we’re having to face people when It comes through. If we’re going to succeed we're going to have to find ways of naming It’s moves. Not running scared, or becoming enraged or bewildered or worn out.

Gotta get smart!

Last Thursday the Transition East Support Group met in Dereham and we exchanged our tales of the It girls and boys in our various meetings. How some of us are reconfiguring the way we are coming together centering on working parties and creative projects. We decided we are going to look at some of those Troubles that were written down on the wall and work through them in 2010. Communication about these difficulties we decided is the key that would open the door.

On Saturday four Transition Norwich dreamers - Mark, Helen, Alex and I - met and explored a conflict that had broken out between us. Helen showed us her painting of our four previous Dreaming journeys. It was a circular map of blue and green with a red dragon, a castle, a river and Mark standing amongst the weeping willow like a silver fish outside Julian of Norwich’s cell. Dead wood from a sweet chestnut tree pointed into a white space where the circle was incomplete. “There’s a gap,” Helen said. We looked into that howling gap for three hours and It allowed us to shout and weep and stand in each other’s shoes and feel what that was like on the other side of the tracks. "Storming" in groups sometimes calls for what is known as conflict resolution, but what we really need is an agreement to look closely into the eye of the ice storm together and create new ways of proceeding, finding the gems that are hidden in the dark.

That's when you realise that the dreaming of cities is not in the buildings or history, or even the land that supports them, it's held within the people who live there and the strangers who come to their door.

At some point It has to become Us.

Sweet Chestnut Tree by Helen Wells (Transition Circle West)

Monday, 14 December 2009

The Butterfly Effect

Last month I spoke to 29 Transition initiatives across the East of England and asked them how Transition was going in their villages, towns and cities, how they began, what projects they were engaged in, what their successes were, what difficulties they faced. Some these difficulties I catalogued in a paper called Transition Troubleshooting http://transitionculture.org/wp-content/uploads/Transition-East-Roundup-Edit.pdf. Later when we met up at the Diss Gathering we wrote our troubles on the wall and then sat down with one another to try and work out a way to proceed. http://www.transitioneast.net/

Looking at these lists you can see the overwhelming difficulties the Transition movement faces lie not with the outside world, but within with the meetings on which Transition culture is based. And now in Copenhagen, “the biggest meeting in history”, where the future of humanity’s culture is based. The question we began to ask ourselves was: are these meetings really a consensus between everyone present? Or are they simply a means whereby agendas that suit the most powerful in the room are agreed?

Or is something going on in these meetings that we haven’t woken up to yet? Naresh Giangrande in his first post from Copenhagen on 11 December http://www.transitionculture.org/ is bewildered and downhearted to see that, in spite of the world’s scientists agreeing over climate change, the rich and powerful are not listening to them.

My hope, my optimism springs from my home, Totnes and all the other Transition initiatives. It springs from the desire and that is apparent here at the people’s conference to create a sustainable world. I feel no hope yet from COP 15. The road from here takes me home.

The problem with the Rich and Powerful is that they are trained to have no fellow-feeling in order to personify huge figures of authority, like small autistic gods. They have been force-fed vast amounts of attention and live in constant terror of being humiliated and annihilated when that attention is removed. As a result they control all reality around them and refuse to acknowledge what is staring at them in the face. How to find a way out of this shut-down will not necessarily be found in the conference halls of Copenhagen.

You might find it somewhere else in the city. Hans Christian Andersen would have no difficulty recognising the situation all of us face. The deaf and the heartless are under the spell of the Snow Queen, he would say. In the story he tells about a sister who releases her brother from enchantment, the tale begins before the children are born, with a “troll mirror” that shatters and scatters the earth. The mirror distorts the world and gives the power of the negative to all those who gaze upon it. When a splinter enters Kai’s eye he falls under the spell of the Snow Queen and disappears from the city. Gerda sets out on a difficult journey through the winter landscape to find him, frozen stiff, on a lake known as The Mirror of Reason.

How do you break a spell? The industrial trance that holds us all captive? The fairy story is clear on the matter. By seeing and feeling who is in front of your eyes. By remembering your heart.

Though the grand illusions of the Western World are controlled by the rich and the powerful, life on earth is underpinned by quite a different story. This year four of us from the Transition Circles– myself, Mark, Helen and Alex - took part in a project called The Dreaming of Norwich and this video of butterflies amongst the buddleia was painted and filmed by Helen.


We had seen the flowers as we went walkabout in the city one Saturday in July. They flourished in amongst all the cracks of the city walls, great fragrant spikes of deep purple and lilac, in bridges, carparks and wastegrounds. We were following the contours of one of the three rivers that flow in and about the centre, dipping our feet in the cool water, skimmed by emerald dragonflies. 2009 was a good year for insects, especially butterflies. One Saturday in August I counted 2oo on the buddleia in my garden.

The butterfly is the universal expression of transformation because during its lifecycle it literally and dramatically changes its form. It’s an image that’s frequently used to describe the process of Transition. You can find it in books from The Great Turning by David Korten to Earthdance by the biologist, Elisabet Sahtouris. In 2007 interviewing a poet from Totnes called Matt Harvey (now the unofficial poet laureate of Transition) I learned a crucial fact about butterflies. Harvey had gone to a butterfly centre and it had transformed his life. He had not known that when the caterpillar enters the cocoon its body dissolves. It becomes liquid in order to transform itself into an imago. Suddenly I understood my life, the poet said. Everything had been collapsing all around me. Nothing was making sense, and I was falling apart. And suddenly I knew why. I was turning into a butterfly.

When the butterfly appears it signals profound change and a vast switch of direction. Its effect was first recognised in chaos theory, where it stands for the small factor that sparks off a radical transition within the non-linear systems of the planet - in the shapes of clouds, the flow of rivers, the populations of reindeer, when one element turns into another. A moment of turbulence in which limit cycles are broken, energy dissipates, structures shift and the planet keeps itself in a state known as far-from-equilibrium, so that life can happen. When the explorers of chaos theory looked at what kept everything in motion they found a shape they called the strange attractor. Drawn by the meteorologist, Edward Lorenz, it appeared like owl’s eyes, like a lemniscate. Most of all it looked like a pair of butterfly wings.

All outcomes of the weather patterns Lorenz discovered depend on initial conditions. Everything that occurs on the planet loops back to initial conditions. How things begin determines how they end - something that indigenous people have known forever, which is why they pay close attention to the creative acts of their ancestors and keep singing their songs, dancing their dances, telling their stories, dreaming their dream. Once upon a time . . .


The old order which the Rich and Powerful represent, which the establishment in all its forms maintains (and our allegiances to them), is the greatest challenge we face in all our meetings, whether in Norwich or in Copenhagen. The transformative presence of the butterfly creates antagonism, stonewalling, denial, dissonance, terror and ridicule.

Above: Lighting a candle for Copenhagen and talking to Sam from Totnes at the 350 Vigil on the Millenium Plain on Saturday's International Day of Protest

The imaginal buds of the new butterfly fail when they first emerge: the great backlash of the caterpillar's immune system destroys all their fragile colour and beauty. At their second attempt however they are older and wiser. They learn to hold the new form of the butterfly by linking up with other buds.

The fact is the world has entered a state of turbulence and the caterpillar is fighting hard to hold on to its territory. Though the Rich and the Powerful and all who serve them resist the emergence of the butterfly, and appear immune to change, they are in fact trapped. They are, like Kai, trying to spell the word Eternity on the ice, heedless to the tears of the world as it tries to melt the hardness of their hearts. They have forgotten the way home. To remember they would have to look into their sisters’ eyes and feel. They know that by this act they would lose the power the mirror has given them and have to return to the humble life of their grandmother’s house in the quiet neighbourhood of Copenhagen.

The butterfly has no power. It carries the colours of the dreaming in its wings and in the shape these wings make in space and time it remembers the infinity present within all finite forms. To know the beauty of the earth, of the real Transition that is taking place we need to relinquish our devouring of the world and go inwards and dream. We have to re-imagine our lives. And as we let our former identities dissolve, our voracious small-minded caterpillar forms, we will start to know ourselves as we really are, to see each other in our true colours:

scarlet admiral
orange-tip
yellow brimstone,
green hairstreak
adonis blue
holly blue
purple emperor
white admiral
peacock.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Waving Not Drowning

A crowd flowed over West- minster Bridge, so many, I had not thought death had undone so many I quoted to Mark. We were passing by the statue of Boudicca raising her spear towards Parliament as our fleet of East Anglian coaches charged onwards towards Hyde Park. We were about to take to the streets as a new kind of blue-faced tribe. Climate warriors battling not just with the industrial wastelands as they encroach upon the earth, but with the denial and apathy of the multitude, unwilling to look, comprehend, feel and respond to the urgent situation in which we find ourselves.

We had come to take part in The Wave, the biggest climate march in history, designed to bring attention to the planetary crisis now about to be discussed by the nations of the world at Copenhagen.At Speakers’ Corner the premise was clear. Climate change was not the only change on the agenda. Under the plane trees the speakers included MPs, Climate Camp organisers, campaigners against the third runway at Heathrow. All of them eloquent and fiery in their call to attention and the issues that brought us together on this day: fossil fuel depletion, resource wars, social justice, green jobs. "I have been speaking to the Native American people in Canada whose lands are being used for tar sands," declared the Liberal Democrat, "I have speaking to the people on the coast of Dorset where the oil tankers are waiting for the prices to rise"(as they are in East Anglia).

"It’s run on love ladies and gentlemen, it really is," said Nick Hutton, treasurer of Campaign Against Climate Change  who, with the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition, had organised The Wave.

As the helicopter roared overhead, the radical roots band, Seize the Day, sang about giving up flying: What will you do, what can we do? Don’t take my wings away.

Sweet Thames run softly till I end my song.

Grosvenor Square, historic starting point for all great marches, was filled on all sides with blue people: blue wigs, blue dragons, blue faces. We moved slowly and inexorably through Mayfair and down Piccadilly. My feet knew all these streets. I had walked them, cycled them, taken underground trains below them night and day, as a child, a lover and a journalist and now almost a stranger. I walked past magazine offices I once worked in, danced a jig to the SOAS samba band in front of Fortnum and Mason where my grandfather used to take me for tea. I knew the kinds of changes that were being required from a city-shaped people. It wasn’t just about turning down the thermostat, it was about giving up an exclusive way of seeing and experiencing the world. Letting whole histories, whole parts of yourself go and letting something else sing inside.

I wore a rainbow hat and stood between the statue of Winston Churchill and Big Ben and watched the crowd as it wound its way down Westminster, over Vauxhall Bridge, past Lambeth Palace and back again in a great aquamarine loop. The people had come from all over the country, from Southampton, Birmingham, Cardiff and Poole. There were people in Transition, people on cycles, grandmothers in blue hats, babies in shawls, monks and priests in habits, young anarchists dressed as bankers.

"You’re on a march", said the policeman to a young couple, "you’re supposed to be shouting!" "What do we hate? Climate change!" chimed some children melodiously in response. It was a big march but it was a mute march. The ready-made placards supplied by the Co-op and the various charities and NGOs said it all for us: Power to the Poor (Christian Aid), Act Fair, Act Fast (the Co-op), Our Climate in Our Hands (Cafod), Capitalism Means Crisis and Climate Chaos (Socialist Worker), Carbon cuts, Not Welfare Cuts (Green Party). The buildings stood impassively as they have stood for centuries. At three o’clock there was a great shout as we did The Wave all together, and then we started to go home.

It was hardly reported by the papers. A massive taking to the streets by 50,ooo people. Was that the media or was it us? Is it that we have no way of communicating the complexity of what is being discussed at Copenhagen? Is it that "the scientists" seem to hold all the data (or not) and the corporations all the power, that ordinary people, united in that moment by the colour blue, have nothing crucial to add? Or is that that the words themselves we are using are inadequate to express what we feel? All these well-spun, marketed, corporatised, psychological, tele-texted words? The demonstration had none of the raw angry edge I remembered from the 70s - strike marches or Anti-Nazi League gatherings. There were no police charges or wild breakouts. It was perfectly orchestrated, without an enemy in sight - unless you can count a bunch of buildings by a river as an enemy.

A woman once asked the Native Americans of central Canada what they could do to help solve the problems about their land. You could start by realising you are the problem, was the reply. How can you march against yourself? Your neighbour, your friend, your own children?

Something else is required of us that is far subtler and more intricate than a public demonstration that depends for its energy and impact on black and white, Us and Them antagonism. Something like the decision the singer made when she gave up flying and realised she couldn’t see her grandmother in America and her sister in Australia again. What people used to call a sacrifice. A giving up of what you love for life itself.

DA What have we given?


Whatever happens in the conference halls of Copenhagen as the minds and wills of the world’s governments argue about figures, this is the kind of change the planet is really requiring us to undergo. A radical shift of attention, a sea-change. A decision that can only be made deep within the chambers of the heart.

Images:: Mark at Grosvenor Square.With the Climate Emergency banner at Speakers Corner; marchers and banner at Parliament Square
All pictures by Mark Watson. Further pix available by Josiah Meldrum (TN2) on http://tinyurl.com/ye2xjvv

Saturday, 5 December 2009

The New Wave - London

This morning Transition initatives from all over the region are climbing aboard coaches and heading down towards London. It's the biggest Climate Action March in history. We're waving banners and wearing blue and joining thousands of others from all over the country. Some of us have never been on a demonstration before, some of us are old hands, some of us (like me) haven't taken to the streets in decades.

What's making us take part? What does it feel like to be there? Will our oceanic presence dissolve the rigid mindsets of Parliament?

Watch this space for a report tomorrow!

Local initatives joining the lively and colourful samba-led demonstration and Climate Emergency rally in Norwich on 21 November.